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Kara Ferenka

Located on the western Beirhamin steppe, on a riverine plain historically inhabited by the Tinay Beirhamin, the shaft dug up by Runberi archeologists is one of the most important and well researched sites of shaftbuilder settlement so far discovered. Until 46 years ago hidden under the endless grass of the Tinay plain, Kara Ferenka has revealed a veritable trove of shaftbuilder lore, artifacts, and strange monsters.   Arrayed like a typical shaftbuilder shaft, Kara Ferenka is a circular hole in the ground almost a kilometer in diameter. The main shaft extends almost two kilometers down, and in the past the top of the shaft was hidden by a layer of rock and soil. The work of the shatfbuilder magicians from a bygone age, the power required to build shafts like Kara Ferenka belies modern understanding. With the interior of the shaft lined by irregularly spaced circular walkways, the ancient shaftbuilders carved their dwellings into the rock faces of their artificial shaft. In addition, the shaftbuilders had magically powered devices to lift themselves and their treasures up and down the height of the shaft.   Beyond the main shaft, Kara Ferenka extends into many smaller mineshafts, as well as what seems to be a sort of underground road network. The shaft has been excavated for many artifacts and ancient tablet carvings, revealing a city-state of ancient dwarves that lived entirely underground, digging ever deeper into the earth for a crystalline substance that seems to have powered their works. A particularly noteworthy finding was a tablet carving translated as "Imprinting for Lesser Wizards", a sort of introductory text that, once deciphered, has allowed modern archeologists to wield shaftbuilder artifacts in a limited fashion.

Fauna & Flora

While few creatures dwell in the main shaft, the side passages contain more life, often subterranean worms and beetles, subsisting on mosses and mushrooms that occur in moist underground caves. The ancient works of the shaftbuilders have increased the range of many of these creatures, but have given them precious little to feed on. More concerningly Kara Ferenka has also spat out a few truly frightening monstrosities, creatures with no place in the natural cycle. Largely lacking any mention in shaftbuilder texts, the twisted monstrosities of the shafts are a known but unexplained feature of shaftbuilder archeology.


Originally a city of shaftbuilder dwarves, the city, as well as every other known shaft was abruptly abandoned by its original inhabitants some 6000 years ago. Since then, the structure that potentially sat atop the shaft has disappeared, either leveled by the elements or dismantled for building material. Eventually, soil piled and grass grew on top of the underground structure, keeping it hidden until 465.   In the 465th Year of the Prophet, a great burrowing worm emerged from the Tinay Plain, feasting on the livestock of the local tribesmen. Chieftain Erkiner of the Tinay organized a band of warriors to ride out and slay the beast, and cut off the worm's head. Displaying the grisly trophy in his great yurt, the trophy soon attracted the attention of a Faqairahi scholar who had heard that strange beasts often originated from a shaftbuilder site. Venturing out to the tribe, the archeologist questioned the chief for the location of the great beast, and then sent for a great digging party.   Thus, Kara Ferenka was revealed, an unusually well preserved shaftbuilder site with a wealth of unclaimed lore and artifacts. Since then, the site has been hunted clean of monsters and Runberi archeologists have retrieved all that they can, though some of the ancient mining tunnels remain unexplored.
Alternative Name(s)
Shaft under Tinay Plain
Underground / Subterranean

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Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
8 Jan, 2021 01:12

The shaftbuilders sound like a fascinating culture. I love the details got about this location, particularly the monstrosities. I'd also love to read that tablet!

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea! Please check out my peculiar plants entry! :)